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post #50 of Old 03-22-2013
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Re: Harness and Tether Recommendations?

A few thoughts, responding to several posts:

* I do use rope jacklines as I find them easier to work with and last longer in the sun. I do not run them on the deck, so they are not an underfoot hazard. The type of rope (stretch) must be matched to the boat; there is no one-size-fits-all.
* I prefer webbing for tethers. That is where I got visual confusion (just me perhaps) and webbing is lighter.
* I can't imagine cutting a tether loose and then fetching the swimmer. Very likely fatal at night. Simpler (and tested at speed in MOB drills) is to tie a second line to the harness before you cut the tether; then they drift behind the boat and are easily retrieved. A lift can also be used at that point.
* 3' can be too long for some smaller boats, particularly on the side decks. Who said you needed to be able to stand? Either custom or tie a loop to shorten.
* Some clip the 2nd leg to their harness d-rings, deactivating the quick release function. Oops.
* Some harness/PFD combinations have made the quick-release IMPOSSIBLE to reach once inflated (Practical Sailor Testing).
* Test hang from the harness to check the fit. Is it on the lower ribs (can't breath)? Will it slide off over the foulies? How's the crotch strap? Maybe this is the time to shorten the tether!

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